THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY GALA Music, laughter, confetti and toasts marked the 50th anniversary celebration for Virginia’s Community Colleges. More than 450 community college friends and supporters gathered at the Richmond Marriott on October 15, 2016, to celebrate the golden anniversary of Virginia’s Community Colleges at a black-tie event sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education. Guests were welcomed by Thomas F. Farrell II, CEO of Dominion, and Governor Terry McAuliffe congratulated Virginia’s Community Colleges on being the “best system in the nation.” Anne Holton, Virginia’s former Secretary of Education, said she has cited Virginia’s Community Colleges — and Virginia’s system of public and higher education — as great examples in towns and cities across the nation. A special video tribute to Dana Hamel, the first chancellor of VCCS, honored his commitment and dedication in building the system from the ground up, and saluted former Governor Mills E. Godwin, who marshaled legislative resources to create a comprehensive system of community colleges statewide in 1966. The 50th anniversary gala raised a total of $2.4 million to support the programs of the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education, including a $1 million gift from Ben and Betty Davenport.